a lavish meal; feast.
a ceremonious public dinner, especially one honoring a person, benefiting a charity, etc.
to entertain or regale with a banquet:
They banqueted the visiting prime minister in grand style.
to have or attend a banquet; feast:
They banqueted on pheasant, wild boar, and three kinds of fish.
Contemporary Examples

These are the reasons why Marzel tapped me on the shoulder at a Kahanist banquet—I was a Kahanist posterboy.
My Former Life As a Kahanist Posterboy Zack Parker June 16, 2013

I also began to plan my GOOP grand finale, an enormous Labor Day banquet with recipes from every major holiday.
My Life As Gwyneth Rebecca Dana September 9, 2009

The banquet Bug by Geling Yan The “outsider” in this satirical novel is foreign in a different way.
James Fallows: 5 Favorite ‘Outsiders In China’ Books James Fallows May 10, 2012

A table creaking under the weight of a Christmas banquet, a classic celebration of binge eating and drinking.
How Dickens and Scrooge Saved Christmas Clive Irving December 21, 2014

The banquet was paid for with public funds, and taxpayers were understandably upset.
China’s Internet Is Freer Than You Think Brendon Hong December 26, 2014

Historical Examples

A curious incident occurred at the beginning of the banquet.
Darkness and Dawn Frederic W. Farrar

The banquet drew to its conclusion, and the guests departed.
The Christmas Banquet (From “Mosses From An Old Manse”) Nathaniel Hawthorne

There he found that gir the Old was giving a banquet to all the sir in his wide coral-caves.
The Heroes of Asgard Annie Keary

Then wine was brought in, and the banquet was served to the sound of music.
The Chinese Fairy Book Various

St. Andrews day, 1895, saw a return after twelve years to the banquet instead of the annual ball.
Montreal 1535-1914, Volume II (of 2) William Henry Atherton

a lavish and sumptuous meal; feast
a ceremonial meal for many people, often followed by speeches
verb -quets, -queting, -queted
(intransitive) to hold or take part in a banquet
(transitive) to entertain or honour (a person) with a banquet

late 15c., “feast, sumptuous entertainment,” from French banquet (15c.; in Old French only “small bench”), from Old Italian banchetto, diminutive of banco “bench;” originally a snack eaten on a bench (rather than at table), hence “a slight repast between meals;” the meaning has entirely reversed. As a verb from 1510s.

a feast provided for the entertainment of a company of guests (Esther 5; 7; 1 Pet. 4:3); such as was provided for our Lord by his friends in Bethany (Matt. 26:6; Mark 14:3; comp. John 12:2). These meals were in the days of Christ usually called “suppers,” after the custom of the Romans, and were partaken of toward the close of the day. It was usual to send a second invitation (Matt. 22:3; Luke 14:17) to those who had been already invited. When the whole company was assembled, the master of the house shut the door with his own hands (Luke 13:25; Matt. 25:10). The guests were first refreshed with water and fragrant oil (Luke 7:38; Mark 7:4). A less frequent custom was that of supplying each guest with a robe to be worn during the feast (Eccles. 9:8; Rev. 3:4, 5; Matt. 22:11). At private banquets the master of the house presided; but on public occasions a “governor of the feast” was chosen (John 2:8). The guests were placed in order according to seniority (Gen. 43:33), or according to the rank they held (Prov. 25:6,7; Matt. 23:6; Luke 14:7). As spoons and knives and forks are a modern invention, and were altogether unknown in the East, the hands alone were necessarily used, and were dipped in the dish, which was common to two of the guests (John 13:26). In the days of our Lord the guests reclined at table; but the ancient Israelites sat around low tables, cross-legged, like the modern Orientals. Guests were specially honoured when extra portions were set before them (Gen. 43:34), and when their cup was filled with wine till it ran over (Ps. 23:5). The hands of the guests were usually cleaned by being rubbed on bread, the crumbs of which fell to the ground, and were the portion for dogs (Matt. 15:27; Luke 16:21). At the time of the three annual festivals at Jerusalem family banquets were common. To these the “widow, and the fatherless, and the stranger” were welcome (Deut. 16:11). Sacrifices also included a banquet (Ex. 34:15; Judg. 16:23). Birthday banquets are mentioned (Gen. 40:20; Matt. 14:6). They were sometimes protracted, and attended with revelry and excess (Gen. 21:8; 29:22; 1 Sam. 25:2,36; 2 Sam. 13:23). Portions were sometimes sent from the table to poorer friends (Neh. 8:10; Esther 9:19, 22). (See MEALS.)


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